Let's take all that love and joy and happiness bestowed upon us over Mothers' Day weekend (hopefully we all felt it, ladies,) and let's try to refocus that somehow into creating cool new school lunches full of love and joy as well. And nutrition, of course. Here are some tips for getting started:
1) Let your kid decorate their paper bag, or an extra paper napkin or plate, to add some cheer to their meal. Give them some stamps, stickers, markers, or even pompoms and glue. They can make a whole fun project out of it and they will look forward to lunch more that way.
2) Have your kid pick out 2 to 3 things, and you pick out the same number of things for their lunch. That way there is a perfect balance of what's really exciting to them (their choices), and what's really good for them (your choices). Make sure the choices you give them are still healthy, but let it be whatever their favorite healthy foods are.
3) Be sure to mix things up as much as you can to keep lunch interesting. I know moms who get really creative with wraps and sandwiches or pasta. They just toss in whatever they have that the kid likes: any veggies, cheeses, or cold cuts. My daughter only likes yogurt, but she also loves crackers with cheese or cold cuts on the side. So I find different crackers like fish or bunnies or squares, etc. and try different proteins to go with them.
4) You can use cookie cutters to cut your sandwiches into interesting shapes, and add things like raisins to make a smiley face on there too. If I do this, I know my kid will at least nibble, even though she does not like sandwiches.
5) Try totally new things every so often. No one goes through life without changing how they feel about different foods.
6) Hide a little note, or tiny special treat in the lunch bag so that your kid thinks of you, and your love for them, while they eat. They will be excited to see the treat and might try harder to eat well. Or at least to eat something.
7) Now that it's getting warm, make sure to include refreshing foods. We love cucumber slices, snap peas, grape tomatoes and extra servings of berries or apples or other sweet, juicy fruit.
8) Make sure your kid's drink stays cool. They will enjoy it more, and stay better hydrated. I started adding an ice cub to my girl's water bottle and she is drinking much more now. Warm drinks in hot weather are just no fun, are they?
How do you make your kids' lunches special?